Category Archives: News

Here’s the latest development in the DJI developer challenge

DJI, Ford and the United Nations Development Program want you to build the next application system for search and rescue drones. The three entities are partnering up to create the 2016 DJI Developer Challenge, and at stake is an $100,000 prize.

The challenge has just advanced to its second stage, as 25 developer teams moved to the second round of competition. A record 130 proposals were submitted for the challenge, and just the top approximately 20% were chosen to move forward. Continue reading Here’s the latest development in the DJI developer challenge

We’re one step closer to drone delivery becoming a reality

In a small Nevada town with just over 3,000 residents, the U.S. just saw its first “urban drone” delivery.

Drone delivery company Flirtey this week delivered a package that included bottled water, emergency food and a first aid kit by drone. The choice of item delivered was meant to illustrate “Flirtey’s vision to reinvent the delivery process for humanitarian, online retail and food delivery industries,” according to a news release.  Continue reading We’re one step closer to drone delivery becoming a reality

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta talks with the Drone Girl at SXSW

“Who would have guessed that two years ago the FAA Administrator would be speaking at South By Southwest about drones?” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

Huerta moderated a discussion for the drone panel hosted at the Google Fiber Space in Austin, Texas for South by Southwest 2016. And me? I was the emcee.

Huerta joined Amazon Prime Air’s Gur Kimchi, NASA’s John Cavolowsky, PrecisionHawk’s Diana Marina Cooper, Intel’s Jaclyn Louis, Aerobo’s Jon Ollwerther and Fresh Air Educators’ Kerry Moher for a Q&A — a monumental event bringing these groups, from corporate to education to government all together on stage for the first time.

Huerta outlined progress between the FAA and these groups, including the UAS registration system that hit 400,000 registrants this week and the MicroUAS aviation rulemaking committee that will deliver recommendations to the FAA by April 1.

Continue reading FAA Administrator Michael Huerta talks with the Drone Girl at SXSW

No drones in DC, FAA says

No Drone Zone is gaining ground, as the FAA ensures your drone stays out of the air at major events and in restricted airspace.


The FAA has added signs around Washington D.C. as part of its expanded No Drone Zone campaign, particularly in light of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Continue reading No drones in DC, FAA says

6 tips for extending your drone’s flight time

This post was submitted by Liz Pekler. Pekler is a travel photographer with almost 10 years of experience in the field. When she is not out exploring the world, she likes to share her knowledge about photography and travel through writing for blogs.

Do you have your own reader submission? Contact TheDroneGirl here.

A drone flies over the waters of Congaree River in Columbia in South Carolina on October 5, 2015. Relentless rain left large areas of the US southeast under water. The states of North and South Carolina have been particularly hard hit, but the driving rain in recent days has spared almost none of the US East Coast. AFP PHOTO/MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

One of the biggest drawbacks of drones? Short battery life.Inexpensive beginner drones often can only fly for about 7 minutes, while high-end models like DJI’s line of premium quadcopters have an average flight time of about 25 minutes.

But for drone pilots who capture aerial photos and videos for weddings, agricultural data collection, large building inspections and other purposes, even 25 minutes will seem too short.

Here are some essential tips for extending the battery life of your drone:

  1. Buy a bigger, more powerful battery.

Purchase a bigger, more powerful battery than the one your drone originally comes with. Check out online stores like Adorama and find the largest battery with the highest mAh capacity. *Note: of course, not all batteries are compatible with all drones.

That being said, take the battery’s weight into account as well because larger batteries tend to be heavier and may end up weighing your drone down during flight, which can be counterproductive. Continue reading 6 tips for extending your drone’s flight time

Yuneec announces retail price for Typhoon H with collision detection

Yuneec International’s Typhoon H is now available for preorder, with deliveries set to begin in two weeks. The cost to you? $1,299.

Highlights of the Typhoon H — expected to be a huge upgrade from the Yuneec Typhoon — include proximity detection, intending to prevent collisions with obstacles. If some type of failure occurs, the Typhoon H has a failsafe system that allows it to remain stable and land.

The lightweight, carbon fiber Typhoon H has six rotors (a safety feature in case one of the motors fails), a 360-degree gimbal camera and retractable landing gear. And though it may be large in the air, it can become compact for travel, with foldable arms and propellers that disconnect easily.

The drone comes with a camera that shoots 4K videos and 12 megapixel skills. For a limited time, buyers will also receive a free Wizard controller.

The Intel-funded, Chinese drone-maker is relatively new to the drone scene, but with this latest product, is rounding out its family of drones that start at $499 for lower models.

The drone is set to be a strong competitor to DJI’s Phantom 4, which arrived Tuesday at the Apple Store. The Phantom 4 is priced slightly higher at $1,399.

How (and where) you can legally shoot commercial video with a drone

Is commercial drone use illegal in the U.S.? Nope! But there ARE are regulations at the federal, state and local levels.

But for someone intending to use a drone for something as innocuous as getting a bird’s­eye view of a cityscape, a field of crops, a wedding ceremony or a snowboard run, regulations can be confusing.

That’s why the team at AllDigital, Inc. put together the infographic below. It’s designed to help video professionals navigate the ever­changing legal landscape as it applies to drones — and especially using drones to capture video.

Infographic: What You Need To Know About Shooting Video With a Drone
Source: Infographic: What You Need To Know About Shooting Video With a Drone

DJI’s Phantom 4 is here — and incredible

This is an excerpt of a story originally written for Read the entire piece here.

DJI has unveiled its smartest drone yet: it’s the first consumer drone to have the ability to sense and avoid obstacles and marks a huge leap in preventing drone crashes.

DJI’s Phantom 4 drone, unveiled Tuesday, has two forward-facing optical sensors that can scan for obstacles and automatically direct the drone to fly above the obstacle to avoid it. If it can’t fly above the obstacle (for example, a roof overhead or the object is simply too tall) the drone will hover in front of the object until it is manually redirected.

The drone will sell for $1,399 on DJI’s website, but otherwise will be available only through the Apple Store from March 15 to March 29. Continue reading DJI’s Phantom 4 is here — and incredible